Lola & Toni in the Tonga

New Zealand part 1-Auckland
July 24, 2008, 12:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So, we just recently returned from our two week holiday in New Zealand, and it may take me a few days to blog it all because it was so wonderful.  It was essentially Lara and Trenton eating and drinking (not excessively of course) our way around the North Island of NZ.   New Zealand is quite an amazing place, it also might have been due to the fact that we have been living in a small underveloped nation for the last ten months.  We arrived at about 2 am and didn’t get settled into our conveniently located closet sized hotel room until about 3.  Fortunately, there happened to be a trucker strike, Kiwis call them “trukkies”.  So, at 7 am, we were woken by trucks driving very slow down the middle of the city honking their very loud air horns.   We were excited to get up and get eating anyway, so it wasn’t too big of a deal.  It ended up being a pretty good demonstration to oppose a road tax that would have put many truckers out of business.   

Anyway, we had already planned where we were eating breakfast and some of the things we wanted to do the first day in Auckland to plan for our upcoming road trip.  We headed out around 8, and couldn’t believe all the food!!!  There were restaurants, cafes, pubs, bakeries, and food courts everywhere.  It took us forever to make it to the restaurant we wanted to eat because of all the other savory food treats we were noticing in all the windows.  We had a wonderful breakfast of omelletes, bagels and lox and great fancy coffee.  Our vacation was really starting out on the right food foot.  Although it was a little overwhelming to see all the food, drinking, and shopping options there.

On we went to visit the Department of Conservation and the I-site in Auckland to load up on maps and other tourist information.  We soon found out and would see the whole trip that New Zealand was really set up for tourist travel.  Auckland was a very clean and efficient city that reminded us both of Seattle, WA.  Within 6 hours of walking around Auckland, we both decided that we could live in this wonderful city.   So, we loaded up on enough maps and touris information to fill a shopping bag.  We decided we had enough info to get us planning on the rest of the trip, but we still had another day and night to enjoy Auckland.

After a couple of Guinnesses (yes Guinness!!!!!) at the pub and a little relaxing after all the walking, we decided to take a harbor ferry cruise.  We thought it might be a good way to check some of the islands around Auckland out and it included a muffin and coffee!!! It was a nice little cruise and very relaxing.  Unfortunately the weather was a little like Seattle as well and so we would get rain in between the sun breaks.  Oh well, it was still great.  A wonderful day in Auckland was ended with a trip to the Turkish kebab shop and a bunch of other wonderful snacks we had picked up for dinner and a little TV watching in the closet.

So, I know I am getting a little long winded about Auckland, but I want to remember as much as I want to tell.  So, on to the next day.  Although the weather had turned a little crappy, we were determined to find a farmer’s market we had read about.  Yes, a farmer’s market in the middle of winter.  Did I mention that it was the middle of winter in NZ?  You might be able to tell by how we are dressed in some of the pictures that it was cold.  On our path to the farmers market we had talked about, we ran into another farmers market, oh boy…..let the food purchasing for the day begin!!!   It was a nice little market that we were able to buy some local honey for a friend back in Tonga.  Some local fruit, cheese, bread, nuts, etc…..  It was great, but we were to find out it was nothing like the market we originally planned on visiting.  After about an hour of walking we found our destination, a French Market (La Cigale) that put on a market every Saturday.  Both of our mouths dropped when we saw it.  There was so much food and goodies to eat or buy there.  We loaded up while munching on wonderful little snacks.  It was almost too overwhelming to recount it now that we are back in Tonga…  ha ha.  On the way back to the hotel, we found another amazing site…..Liquor world!!!  Luckily we came upon it right when a big rain started.  We figured it must have been a sign for us to go and look at it.  Alan, it was right up there with the beer museum in Ontario.  Anyway, our time in Auckland was coming to an end, and it was a great start to our holiday.  The next day we were too pick up our campervan and head out on the road….. We were pretty excited to get out and see the North Island.  I have uploaded some pictures of Auckland and the first part of our trip, and we will post more later.